INDIAN ROCKS — Clearwater's goal against Indian Rocks Christian in Friday night's preseason game was to establish its running game and wear out the Golden Eagles. After a few close calls, that's what the Tornadoes did.
Junior Adarius Lemons ran for 130 yards on 11 carries and scored on a 33-yard run and Kendrick Harvey added 93 yards on five carries and a touchdown to help the Tornadoes to a 42-14 win. Clearwater ran for 249 yards and quarterback Garrison Bryant added 155 passing yards and two touchdowns in three quarters.
"We felt we had an advantage with depth against this team," Clearwater coach Don Mesick said. "They have great players and the offensive line is amazing, but they also have guys going both ways. If we could establish the run game and tire them out a little bit then we could do the things we wanted to do."
Clearwater scored on its first three possessions. Kane Taylor scored from 5 yards on the fifth play to give Clearwater a 6-0 lead. The extra point was missed. On the next drive, Bryant hit Cameron Ellis on a 5-yard pass; a 2-point play made it 14-0.
IRC's Zeke McGaughy cut the lead to 14-7 on a 32 yard-touchdown run. McGaughy ended up with 99 yards rushing on eight carries. After Bryant hit Jacquez Jones on a 56-yard touchdown, the Golden Eagles cut it to 21-14 at halftime when Garrett Ross-Johnson hit Ty Majlik on a 38 yard TD pass. Majlik, a first-year player, had 88 yards on five catches.
Lemons scored to start the second half for Clearwater. Indian Rocks had a big scoring chance late in the third quarter but at the Clearwater 1-yard line to end the drive. From there, Clearwater scored twice more to put the game away.
"Our defense came through. Our running game did well," Lemons said. "When I wasn't running it, Kendrick (Harvey) ran it well. We're excited."
Golden Eagles' coach Mark Buchanan was not very excited about his team's play, even against a bigger Class 6A school.
"We were so sloppy," Buchanan said. "I just hate that. We fumbled the ball on the one. Just had a lot of break downs. We have a lot to work on."